Rayshawn Jenkins

Seahawks To Sign S Rayshawn Jenkins, T George Fant

MARCH 15: The Seahawks are giving Jenkins a two-year, $12MM deal, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweets, noting $6.6MM will come the safety’s way in Year 1. Fant will collect up to $14MM on his deal, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson, who adds the veteran tackle will receive a $3.7MM signing bonus.

Multiple teams pursued Fant, according to Wilson, but John Schneider confirmed (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) the Seahawks are not planning a two-Fant starting lineup. While Noah Fant is back at tight end, George Fant will work as a swingman behind starters Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. Considering the investments the Seahawks made in their young tackles, this is not surprising.

MARCH 13: After moving on from both Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, the Seahawks had a need on the backend. Those veteran safeties will not be in place for 2024, but Rayshawn Jenkins will. The latter has agreed to a deal with Seattle, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

In another free agent deal, the Seahawks will bring back George Fant. The veteran tackle is set to return to where his career began, Pelissero notes in a follow-up. Fant will provide depth at the tackle spot on a team featuring two young starters.

Jenkins was part of Jacksonville’s cost-cutting measures in the lead-in to free agency. He had a three-year run in Duval County, remaining a full-time starter over that span. The 30-year-old racked up five interceptions during the past two seasons, adding 21 pass deflections in that time. To little surprise, Jenkins was quickly on the radar of interested teams after his Jags release went through.

The Seahawks and 49ers had Jenkins visits lined up, and he has elected to head to Seattle. A first-team role should await the Miami alum given the decision to cut Adams and Diggs in cost-shedding moves. Seattle invested in Julian Love last offseason, but he is only under contract through 2024. The ex-Giant could play his way into a new Seattle pact with his play this season, and doing so will come about with a veteran of 109 games alongside him in the form of Jenkins.

Fant spent the first three years of his career in the Emerald City, logging 24 starts across 46 games with the Seahawks. He worked as a full-time starter with the Jets from 2020-22, seeing time at both left and right tackle. He took a one-year Texans deal last offseason, starting 13 contests and playing almost exclusively at the RT spot. That could come in handy with Seattle.

2022 third-rounder Abraham Lucas was limited to six games last season due to injury, and Fant will provide a veteran starting option if necessary. Lucas struggled when on the field in 2023, drawing a PFF grade of 53.1 (a steep decline from that of his rookie season). Fant, 31, earned a much better evaluation last year in a bounce-back from his final Jets season. He could see playing time with Seattle for the second time in his career if needed at either tackle spot.

Seahawks, 49ers To Host S Rayshawn Jenkins

MARCH 11: Jenkins’ next visit will see him meet with the 49ers next week, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. It comes as little surprise that multiple teams will look into a Jenkins deal given his continued production, and safety could be an area San Francisco looks to upgrade this offseason. It will be interesting to see if a deal with the Seahawks or 49ers materializes relatively soon, or if further suitors emerge.

MARCH 10: Former Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins was part of the recent purge of veteran safeties around the league after getting cut earlier this week. The 30-year-old out of Miami (FL) wasn’t able to finish out his four-year deal in Jacksonville, but he’s already on to the next chapter as Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report tells us that Jenkins is currently en route to Seattle to visit with the Seahawks.

Jenkins took a couple years to develop as a fourth-round pick, becoming a starter in his third year with the Chargers. In two years as a starter in Los Angeles, Jenkins reeled in five picks while breaking up eight passes. His short sample size as a starter was enough to earn him $8.75MM per year with the Jaguars.

Over his time in Jacksonville, Jenkins has continued producing, nabbing five more interceptions and 24 passes defensed in three years, as well as finishing top-four in tackles on the team in all three seasons. Despite his production, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has not reflected his time with the Jaguars favorably. This year saw his best grade with the team as he finished 70th out of 95 ranked safeties in the league.

Still, Jenkins is expected to field lots of interest in free agency. Seattle is in need of a veteran safety after cutting both Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs. Depending on how the contracts of pending free agent cornerbacks Michael Jackson and Artie Burns play out, Jenkins could be set to rejoin two former Miami teammates in the opposite corner of the country.

Other teams that could show interest in Jenkins are the Broncos, Cardinals, Bears, Bills, and Lions, who are all also parting ways with starting safeties this offseason. There are several free agent safeties available after all of the recent releases, but Jenkins seems to be getting a head start on finding a new home for 2024 as Schultz reports that Jenkins has several other potential visits on the docket, as well.

Jaguars To Cut S Rayshawn Jenkins

After going into last season with largely the same defense they trotted out in 2022, the Jaguars are making changes. Rayshawn Jenkins will be the latest Jacksonville cut on that side of the ball.

The Jags are releasing the veteran safety, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, with this move following the cuts of Folorunso Fatukasi and Darious Williams. Not part of the Jags’ 2022 free agency splurge like Fatukasi or Williams, Jenkins has been with the team since 2021, working as a starter throughout his tenure.

Jenkins, who turned 30 earlier this year, was due to make $8MM in base salary next season and carry a $12.3MM cap number. Unless this is a post-June 1 cut, the Jags will eat a bit of dead money due to void years existing on the veteran DB’s contract. Jacksonville will save more than $5MM while taking on just more than $7MM in dead cap.

Signed to a four-year, $35MM deal during Urban Meyer‘s offseason in charge, Jenkins came over from the Chargers and started every game he played as a Jaguar. That included 17-game seasons in each of the past two years. Jenkins intercepted five passes in that span, including a walk-off pick-six of Dak Prescott in a 40-34 Jags win in 2022. Pro Football Focus, however, rated the former fourth-round pick as one of the worst regular safeties over the past three seasons. The advanced metrics website slotted Jenkins outside the top 70 in each of his three Jacksonville seasons.

With the Jags firing most of their defensive staff shortly after a disappointing season, it is unsurprising they will look to add new starters ahead of Ryan Nielsen‘s first DC campaign. The team allowed at least 28 points five times after its Week 9 bye, leading to it going from contending for the AFC’s No. 1 seed to being bounced out of the playoffs. If this is a post-June 1 cut, Jenkins must remain on the Jags’ payroll until the start of the 2024 league year (March 13). If the team is moving on immediately, it will hold more than $34MM in cap space.

Contract Notes: Jaguars, Singletary, Packers

The Jaguars reworked safety Rayshawn Jenkins‘ contract earlier this week, creating a chunk of cap space. Per Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com, the team converted more than $6.4MM of Jenkins’ salary into a signing bonus and added three void years to the contract. As a result, the team dropped the defensive back’s cap number from $10.5MM to $5.3MM, thus opening more than $5MM in cap space.

Jenkins’ 2024 cap number will rise by more than $1MM. In the event the Jaguars eventually move on from the player, they’ll be left with a dead cap hit of $5.1MM in 2024 or $3.85MM in 2025.

We’ve collected more contract notes below:

  • Calais Campbell‘s one-year, $7MM deal with the Falcons includes a $4MM guaranteed salary and a $3MM signing bonus, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (via Twitter). He can earn another $2MM via incentives, including marks for sacks and playing time. According to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (on Twitter), $500K of Campbell’s incentives are likely to be earned.
  • Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins inked a one-year, $1.16MM deal with the Cowboys that also includes an $152K signing bonus, per Wilson (on Twitter). After starting 116 of his 117 appearances between 2014 and 2021, Hankins only started four of his 10 appearances for the Raiders and Cowboys last season.
  • Running back Devin Singletary‘s new deal with the Texans includes up to $1MM in incentives, per Wilson (on Twitter). Half of those bonuses come via playing time incentives, and he can earn another $500K for certain statistical milestones above 1,000 yards from scrimmage.
  • Dallin Leavitt’s one-year contract with the Packers is worth $1.4MM, including a $1.08MM base salary, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (on Twitter). He can earn up to $170K in roster bonuses, all via $10K per-game roster incentives. Demovsky also passes along that Justin Hollins got an $155K signing bonus and $45K workout bonuses from the Packers, while Eric Wilson got an $152K signing bonus.
  • Defensive lineman Carlos Watkins got a one-year, $1.67MM deal from the Cardinals, according to Howard Balzer (on Twitter). This includes a $250K signing bonus, an $1.08MM signing bonus, and up to $340K in per-game roster bonuses. That all results in an $1.57MM cap hit.
  • Jordan Phillips‘ contract with the Bills is for one year worth $3MM, per Ryan O’Halloran of The Buffalo News (on Twitter). He’ll earn $1.22MM in guaranteed money, and he can earn up to $4.6MM thanks to incentives.

Jaguars Place Carlos Hyde, Rayshawn Jenkins On IR

The Jaguars have placed running back Carlos Hyde and safety Rayshawn Jenkins on the injured reserve list. With just a few weeks left, that’ll cap the season for both players.

[RELATED: Brian Schottenheimer To Call Jaguars’ Plays]

Hyde has been out since Week 14, when he suffered a concussion against the Titans. His first Jaguars season will end with 253 yards off of 72 carries for a weak 3.5 yards per carry average. He also had one rushing TD plus a dozen catches for 65 yards. Of course, few players have shined in Jacksonville this season, so it’s hard to extrapolate much from those numbers.

Hyde remains under contract for 2022 thanks to his two-year, $6MM deal. However, his return is far from guaranteed. The Jaguars could move on from the 31-year-old (32 in September) to save $2MM against $450K in dead money.

The 2-12 Jaguars will face the Jets, Patriots, and Colts before wrapping their season. Currently, they’re projected to pick No. 1 overall (again), ahead of the Lions and Texans.

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/21/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawk

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

West Notes: M. Jones, Seahawks, Clinton-Dix

It has been looking increasingly likely that the 49ers will draft Alabama passer Mac Jones with the No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter said just yesterday that Jones would be the Niners’ pick. But Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network isn’t as convinced. On a recent PFN Draft Insiders podcast (link), Pauline said he is hearing that whether San Francisco goes with Jones or one of Justin Fields or Trey Lance is a 50-50 proposition.

Of course, this time of year is notorious for false leaks and misinformation, but the Niners are at least doing their due diligence on Fields. The Ohio State QB will hold a second pro day, and 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch are expected to attend.

Now for a few more West-related items:

  • The 49ers have hosted DL Ronald Blair on a visit, as ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. Blair, whom the Niners selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, was a useful piece of the team’s pass rush rotation during his first few years in the league, but he suffered a torn ACL in November 2019, and it was later revealed that the ensuing surgery was not successful. Though he re-upped with San Francisco on a one-year deal last March, he did not play in a single game in 2020.
  • Cornerback Quinton Dunbar recently signed with the Lions, but the Seahawks wanted to retain him, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Seattle has lost both Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin in free agency, and though the club did bring Ahkello Witherspoon aboard, CB is still an area of need.
  • The Seahawks continue to seek offensive line depth. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Seattle visited with guard Cody Wichmann today (Twitter link). Wichmann, a sixth-round pick of the Rams in 2015, has managed to land a couple of reserve/futures contracts and a spot on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2018, but he hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2016. He has 18 career starts to his credit.
  • After the first few weeks of the new league year, the Raiders still have a glaring need at safety, but they don’t seem too worried about it. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the only FA safety Vegas was in on early was Rayshawn Jenkins, who inked a four-year, $35MM deal with the Jaguars. Players like Kenny Vaccaro, Duron Harmon, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix remain available, and the Raiders actually had Clinton-Dix in for a visit in March. Tafur suggests that the 28-year-old may have an offer in hand from Vegas and could be waiting for the market to pick back up before agreeing to a deal.

Jaguars Sign S Rayshawn Jenkins

Rayshawn Jenkins is heading to Jacksonville. The veteran safety is signing a four-year deal with the Jaguars, according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio (via Twitter).

The 2017 fourth-round pick out of Miami (FL) had spent his entire four-year career with the Chargers. After playing as mostly a backup and special teamer during his first two years in the NFL, Jenkins emerged as a starter in 2019. He’s started each of his 31 regular season games over the past two years, compiling 92 tackles, eight passes defended, and five interceptions. The Chargers made an effort to retain the 27-year-old, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).

The Jaguars were reportedly hunting for safeties. We learned earlier today that the team was a suitor for John Johnson before the veteran signed with the Browns.

Despite striking out of Johnson, the Jaguars have had a busy day. The team signed defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris, wideout Phillip Dorsett, and return man Jamal Agnew.

West Notes: Ray, Rivers, Thomas

Most of the fifth-year option decisions this offseason were no-brainers, but what the Broncos would do with respect to Shane Ray‘s 2019 option was a little tougher to predict. Ultimately, Denver chose to decline the option, which means that Ray will be eligible for free agency following the 2018 campaign, and head coach Vance Joseph believes that the chance to hit the open market will make the Missouri product especially motivated to produce at a high level this year.

Joseph said (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post), “[Ray] is really motivated. He understands it’s business. And he’s ready for a challenge. He wants to be a great player and, in my opinion, before he got hurt last year (early in training camp) he was on his way to having a great year. I am not surprised that he is motivated and engaged. The ball is in his court. He can earn a lot more than what the option offered him if he goes out there and does what we think he can do.”

As O’Halloran notes, however, this could be Ray’s last season with the Broncos regardless of how he performs. If he does well, he could price himself out of Denver’s budget, and if he struggles, the Broncos may not want him back anyway.

Now for more notes from the league’s west divisions:

  • Joseph is not only impressed with Ray’s effort level this spring; he is also pleased by what he has seen from the Broncos‘ marquee free agent signing, Case Keenum. Joseph said (via the same piece linked above), “[W]atching Case the last couple of weeks on the field, man, he’s a lot better than I remember. It’s definitely a good thing to watch him lead the guys and watch the guys respond to him. It’s refreshing for all of us to be in the presence of a veteran quarterback who has command. I think everyone is loving the fact we have a quarterback in place that can lead this team from spot 1, and that’s good for all of us.” 
  • In response to a reader’s question as to when the Chargers should plan for Philip Rivers‘ retirement, Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com suggests that it won’t be anytime soon, and that Rivers could play for another five years. After all, Rivers, 36, has already indicated he would like to play for a few more seasons, the club has not drafted a QB since 2013, and in addition to his continuing strong performance, he has not lost an ounce of motivation or even mentioned retirement, per quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen. And, as Williams notes, Rivers — who has not missed a start in more than a decade — predicates his game on anticipation and moving within the pocket, so loss of speed is not a huge issue.
  • Rayshawn Jenkins, whom the Chargers selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft, was primarily a special teams contributor in his rookie campaign, but as Williams notes, Los Angeles is giving the Miami product a shot at free safety this offseason. The team is intrigued by his athleticism, speed, and physicality, and the hope is that he can use those qualities to become a consistent presence on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Whether the Seahawks will trade Earl Thomas this offseason has been something of an open question over the past few months, but it sounds as if his next contract — he is eligible for free agency next year — will not come from Seattle. As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, even though Thomas will command top dollar, the Seahawks could pay him if they wanted to. But in light of Thomas’ age (29), the fact that the team is in something of a retooling phase, and what has happened to some of the Seahawks’ older players over the last few years, Seattle seems unlikely to make the kind of commitment that Thomas is looking for.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/17/17

Today’s draft pick signings:

  • The Ravens have signed third-round defensive lineman Chris Wormley, as Wormley himself indicated on Twitter. Wormley, drafted with the 78th overall selection, would seem to be a ready-made replacement for Timmy Jernigan, whom Baltimore traded to Philadelphia earlier this year. With Wormley now under contract, fellow third-round pick Tim Williams is the only Ravens draft choice who remains unsigned.
  • The Chargers have signed fourth-round safety Rayshawn Jenkins, per a club announcement. After appearing 48 games over four years at Miami, Jenkins appears ticketed for backup and special teams duty during his rookie campaign. Not only does Los Angeles return two starting safeties in Dwight Lowery and Jahleel Addae, but it also added free agent Tre Boston earlier this week.
  • The Bengals announced that they’ve signed signed fourth-round wide receiver Josh Malone. Malone, a Tennessee product, was the second pass-catcher selected by Cincinnati in the draft, following No. 9 overall pick John Ross. While Ross figures to play a large role during his rookie campaign (and perhaps even immediately serve as a starter), Malone will begin the 2017 campaign further down the depth chart. A.J. Green, Brandon LaFell, Ross, and Tyler Boyd all figure to see ample playing time, so Malone will compete with Cody Core, Alex Erickson, and Jake Kumerow for snaps.
  • The Colts announced that they’ve signed fourth-round running back Marlon Mack. After three years at South Florida, Mack could have an easy ascendance to Indianapolis’ No. 2 running back role behind starter Frank Gore, as his only competition is Robert Turbin and Josh Ferguson. At the very least, Mack should see playing time as a pass-catching back in the Colts’ offense.
  • The Browns have agreed to terms with seventh-round kicker Zane Gonzalez, the club announced today. Gonzalez, an Arizona State product, was widely viewed as the best kicker available in the 2017 draft, although he didn’t come off the board first. That honor went to Memphis placekicker Jake Elliott, who was selected in the fifth round by Cincinnati. Gonzalez made 92% of his field goal attempts in 2016 and also converted 39 of 40 extra points in 2016. Per Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Gonzalez has forced touchbacks on 75% of kickoffs over the past two seasons.